Job Opportunity for Senior Advisor, Private Sector at Gates Foundation in New Delhi

Website Gates Foundation

Group Summary

The Global Development Program includes a diverse range of program areas aimed at finding creative ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in low-income countries who need them most. We focus on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach millions of people. Our program strategies include: Emergency Response; Family Planning; Maternal Newborn & Child Health; Nutrition; Polio Eradication. A common theme across these programs is focus on innovative delivery, including an emphasis on strengthening primary health care systems. The Global Development Program also encompasses our India Country Office and Africa Team, with physical offices in Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, and Abuja. Our Program Strategy Teams work in close partnership with these Country Office Teams to align the foundation’s health and development equity agenda with the broader national priorities of countries.

Leadership and Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our values of optimism, collaboration, rigor, innovation and inclusion.

Division Summary

Our efforts are aligned with India’s national objectives of improving the lives of its people -working closely with India’s Central and State governments, we partner with community groups, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, and development organizations, to achieve our shared goals. Our strong networks and ability to convene intellectual resources from many sectors and regions of the globe allows us to address complex challenges as they emerge or evolve.

Our efforts in India focus on key issues that will affect the future of India’s most vulnerable communities: reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition; infectious disease elimination and control; health systems strengthening; urban sanitation; agricultural development; gender equality, and digital financial inclusion.

With a particular focus on Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, we work with partners to develop impactful and sustainable solutions to improve the quality and coverage of key services for the poor and vulnerable. We also work in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Maharashtra to support programs in urban sanitation, agricultural development, gender equality, and digital financial inclusion.

Position Summary  

The Senior Advisor, Private Sector will conceptualize and create the strategy for deep private sector engagement and partnerships in India, to accelerate the rate at which market-based impactful solutions by private sector actors reach low-income geographies and populations, in support of foundation priorities and goals in health and development in India. This is a limited term employment (LTE) role for a period of 24 months.

This role will work with ICO and Seattle program strategy teams, the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) team, the Foundation Strategy Office and other internal teams to use lessons and experiences from private sector engagement approaches across the foundation to inform the strategy for India. The India private sector strategy will be presented to the Global Presidents Leadership Forum (GPLF) for review, feedback, and approval within 12-24 months to determine the future course of work in India.

The role will work closely and support the following divisions and teams:

  • Global growth opportunities – Agriculture Development, Financial Services for the poor and Water Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Gender Equality – women’s economic empowerment
  • Global Development

Potential areas of focus for the private sector strategy

  • Primary healthcare models for poor populations
  • WEE (Women’s economic empowerment)
  • Agriculture livelihoods, finance and insurance, and output supply chain
  • Strengthening the private sector innovation ecosystem comprising of incubators/accelerators in India, with an emphasis on promoting women-led enterprises 

In order to inform a comprehensive strategy, the person in this role will be required to develop and ground truth hypotheses through a set of selective, focused investments. The scope of these investments could include, selectively partnering with large corporates, start-ups, investors, foundations, development finance institutions, social impact firms to adapt design of products and services along with business strategy and risk sharing mechanisms that can extend their reach to low-income populations and underserved geographies. This could include creating linkages between government schemes and private sector models in foundation priority sectors, creating platforms that enable testing and scale up of innovations with customer bases of both start-ups and large corporates, and developing risk sharing mechanisms that incentivize start-ups and corporates to adopt and extend certain products and services to low-income populations, in furtherance of foundation impact goals and in alignment with India’s legal and regulatory frameworks.

This role will report to the Director, Global Growth and Opportunity & Gender Equality, ICO.

Core Responsibilities 

  • Lead the development of a strategy to use India’s private sector capabilities to advance developments goals in India aligned with foundation priorities. This will include an assessment of what we have done so far with the private sector, developing a criteria to evaluate our relative contributions, assessing the landscape and critical gaps, mapping to our comparative advantage, identifying modalities to partner with the foundation’s SIF team, commissioning research, consultations and convenings of different actors in the space.
  • Selectively make grants/contracts for pilots and field building investments that will underpin other investments, including testing opportunities to scale up private sector led technologies and business models servicing bottom 400 million people in frontier geographies (foundation priority states like UP, Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh among others and in the Aspirational Districts) within India, in service of the prospective focus areas for the private sector strategy comprising healthcare, agriculture, financial services and livelihoods.
  • Test and validate new financial structures with other philanthropic organizations, investors and entrepreneurs to crowd in capital for innovations, targeting bottom 400 million people.
  • Develop and field-test approaches to partnering with large corporates to design relevant products, setup risk sharing mechanisms (TA, guarantees, etc.), and develop and implement strategies to reach low-income population. 

Metrics for success in 24 months

  • Comprehensive private sector strategy developed and presented to GPLF for approval.
  • Through the portfolio of pilot investments, track measures of progress (to be validated and finalized within three months of the role getting staffed)
  • Additional capital that gets crowded in, particularly from commercial investors.
  • Evidence of realistic scale up pathways for enterprises supported through the activities.
  • Changes in output measures, and where feasible, outcomes for priority populations such as increase in income and assets, better health and nutrition, resilience, and key gender equality measures.
  • Serve as a foundation spokesperson, as needed, on priority issues related to the scope of this role in India and the region, internally to foundation leadership and externally to government, industry and global partners. 

Core Knowledge & Skills

We are looking for people who enjoy working on complex initiatives and collaboratively seeking solutions that have the potential to achieve transformative change in our priority sectors in India. We are looking for individuals with the following knowledge and skills: 

  • Outstanding analysis capability and problem-solving.
  • Strong collaboration skills with proven ability to lead and influence others.
  • Experience working in a matrix environment (i.e., ability to influence without formal authority).
  • Understanding of the regulatory frameworks related to private sector investing in India
  • Strong experience in working effectively with senior decision makers as it pertains to strategy development and operations. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work with efficiency, diplomacy, and flexibility particularly as part of a team and with external partners. 
  • Comfortable in an international environment and is able to interpret the multi-cultural nuances in language and action. 
  • Strong communication skills; commanding presence and excellent reputation within the field of specialty. 
  • Intellectual quickness, curiosity, resourcefulness, and resilience.
  • High level of cultural competence.
  • Passion for the Foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against the Foundation’s mission. 

Education & Experience

  • A post graduate degree in business or development or equivalent degree with ideally 15+ years of experience.
  • Prior experience of working in the private sector in one of the four focus areas (healthcare, agriculture, financial services, livelihoods), is preferred. Ideal candidate would have experience in consulting, advisory, business development/partnerships or impact investing.
  • Entrepreneurial experience preferred.
  • *Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.


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Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.

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